Beachcombing

Where a solitary seagull flew,
hopeful of an unexpected catch,
an old man moved along
the deserted seashore,
glancing skywards,
as if to ward off new invaders.

He kept his gaze low,
pausing then pouncing,
hands sifting piles of slippery pebbles,
“Makes a good walk” he called,
digging to retrieve his bounty –
two battered 20p coins.

“Like poetry?”
he called, I nodded,
so with one hand cupped
to the side of his mouth,
warding off competition
from the roar of the wind
on the incoming tide,
he launched into a sonnet.

His words swooped, soared,
glided past present reality
and far out to sea,
I clapped respectfully
as he continued to work the beach
as a showman might,
reaping his due rewards for such
a powerful performance.

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